Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Historic Southland viaducts saved in funding deal

Four giant timber viaducts built nearly a century ago in the rugged Waitutu Forest on the south coast of the Fiordland National Park are to be restored in an agreement between the Department of Conservation, the Southland District Council and the Port Craig Viaduct Trust, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

“We need to restore and protect these massive viaducts as a tribute to the incredible engineering feats of our pioneering ancestors. They are a spectacular feature of the Hump Ridge Track along the south coast of Fiordland that generations of New Zealanders and international visitors must continue to be able to enjoy,” Dr Smith says.

The four viaducts were built in the early 1920s as part of a timber tramline to the Port Craig logging and sawmill operation. The sawmills were dismantled after the Great Depression. In the 1990s the viaducts became part of the Hump Ridge Track. The largest viaduct, the Percy Burn, which is the highest timber trestle bridge in the Southern Hemisphere, had to be closed in May last year because of safety concerns with the decay and corrosion of the key structural elements. The four viaducts have Category 1 Historic Places Trust registration and are listed as one of New Zealand’s top 50 engineering structures.

“It is a huge credit to the Southland District Council, the Port Craig Viaduct Trust and the local managers of the Department of Conservation that an agreement has been reached on restoration of the viaducts and their long-term maintenance.

“These funding problems are difficult to resolve because no one organisation has responsibility and parties could argue for years over who should fund what. I admire the typical southern pragmatism that has delivered this long-term funding partnership where costs will be shared one third each between the Government, the council and community.

“The current work required to repair and restore the viaducts is expected to cost $480,000. My Department has committed its $160,000 share for the next financial year of 2014/15.

“This agreement is particularly good for the Tuatapere Hump Track Charitable Trust and Southland tourism, as the option of rerouting the track around the viaducts would take away some of the ‘wow’ factor of the Hump Ridge Track experience.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cab Press Conference: Foreign Buyers Register, TPP And Serco

At a press conference today in Wellington, John Key discussed the foreign buyers register as well as the TPP and Serco. Key was questioned on whether a stamp tax might be used as a tool to deal with foreign buyers. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood Satire: Serco To Outsource Prison To Public Sector

In response to high-profile failings, multinational omnicorporation Serco will introduce public management in its prison system. Serco's New Zealand manager, speaking on condition of anonymity, has announced plans for managers from the Department of Corrections to run the Mt Eden Correctional Facility. More>>

National Party Conference: Plans To Nudge Immigrants Towards Regions

The Government will introduce a package of immigration measures aimed at improving the spread of workers, skills and investment across New Zealand, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Relieved Of Control At Mt Eden Prison, Retains Contract

Multi-national private prison operator Serco has been forced to hand back control of Auckland's Mt Eden remand prison to the Department of Corrections, which has used a 'step-in' clause in its contract with Serco following a string of increasingly serious allegations about contraband, prisoner injuries and a death. More>>

ALSO:

Other Experiments: Failing Charter School Stays Open 'For Kids'

Education Minister Hekia Parata says she has given Te Pumanawa o te Wairua in Northland a chance to continue operating because of her concerns about finding other educational opportunities for its students. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news